Saturday, December 27, 2008

Different Opinions On Men and Things

This print dated December 24, 1794 is another Laurie & Whittle hand-colored print. I'm drawn to anything antique that has a sense of humor to it. The attitudes of these two women is very modern, they may as well be on a modern day greeting card. :-)

In October, spaced a few days apart, I got to see two very successful bloggers talk (but not so much about men, more about things). Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarnharlot and Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce. You get very familiar with people and their blogs, you think you get to know them pretty well, so I was surprised to hear Stephanie's voice because it was a lot lower than what I expected and that Heather woman? She is tall, TALL. 

I like to hear stories about how people got to where they are. Ages ago I had a boyfriend who was a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji (this was the 70s) and I liked to attend Satsang with him because I liked to hear the stories about how people turned themselves around and finally found their direction (by the way, I am not religious in any form or way, ever, but that doesn't mean my friends can't be). 

Listening to these two women talk about how they got to where they are now was the familiar story of focusing. And maybe being backed into a corner and having to figure out something. And maybe just general stubbornness. :-) Or any combination of the above.

Stephanie lost her job at a hospital in Toronto because of the SARS panic, her husband lost his job in the music industry related to the same panic. What to do, what to do? She decided that the only thing she was qualified to do was write and what she was passionate about was knitting so she just hauled herself to a publisher with a book proposal. It certainly shouldn't have worked out but seven books later?...she definitely found a niche and a voice for a lot of fellow knitters.

Heather lost her job because she blogged about where she worked...a little too honestly, even though it was probably all true and very funny. She was compelled to write so she then chose to write about her family instead. Well, that did not go over too well with her family. At all. But compelled she was to keep writing. She learned that if you write about your work situation, you could lose your job, write honestly about your family, you could make them really mad at you, write about becoming a mother and how that changes everything about you (while still retaining her murderous wit), there was an audience. You just have to be aware that you are visible to a lot of people and to be responsible for what you say. Which she is now, not that she has compromised anything about her humor.

When you listen to people talk about their lives in front of an audience, there is usually something in the back of your mind you're waiting to hear (at least that's how it is with me). Two people can hear one person's lecture and be mystified by each other's interpretation of what was just said. I'm always drawn to creative journeys of people but in October, I was in a major creative slump. Nothing interesting was happening with what I was drawing or what I was writing on the blog and I was getting really frustrated with myself. I couldn't get anywhere. That was my state of mind when I heard Heather talk. Someone asked her if she ever had writer's block and how she handled it. Heather said that when writer's block happens, and it does, she has written long enough to know that it will last two weeks. She just has to keep writing while she waits for the block to pass. And you know, she was right. I really appreciated her simple answer to something that causes me so much frustration. Just wait two weeks, everything will change.

If you haven't read either of these two people, check them out. They are FUNNY. And remember to check out the "Daily Chuck" on Dooce because that dog is the most patient dog on earth. :-)


Country Girl said...

Thanks for your links to both Heather and Stephanie. I love Stephanie's Yarnharlot site! And I've visited Heather before but have only been back a couple of times.
It's a good way to look at writer's block, isn't it? Give it two weeks and call me in the morning.

Carin said...

Congrats on winning over at Country Girl!

shara said...

Hey there-
I found your site via Country Girl's site. This entry has really hit home w/ me. Thank you, very much. I will also check out Heather and Stephanie's blogs.

Country Girl said...

You won in my giveaway! Yay, you!

Mental P Mama said...

How lucky you were to get to hear them. I like the two week strategy. And congrats on your win;)

dlyn said...

Came over to congratulate you on winning CG's contest & to express my extreme jealousy for same. This a great blog and one I missed until now - I will be back for sure!

Maria said...

Yay, Me! :-D

And this is a good intro to The Yarn Harlot...